SAN DIEGO – The Raiders dropped to 0-10 on the season and 0-fer their last 16, a regular season’s worth of futility spread over two campaigns. Sunday’s 13-6 loss to the San Diego Chargers cemented those facts, and extended a stretch of offensive ineptitude that leaves many wondering if this group will ever score consistently.
A solid defensive effort was squandered, steering negative focus to the offense and special teams. We’ll focus on three key points:
1. No offensive spark: Raiders players and coaches alike have lamented the fact that they can’t pinpoint one particular problem with the offense. New issues crop up each week that slow this unit down. On Sunday, everything broke down.
The Raiders went three and out six times, punted nine times and turned the ball over in tragicomic fashion. They couldn’t run or throw the ball downfield. Passing was inefficient at best.
They rarely travelled into Chargers territory, and couldn’t score a touchdown in their lone trip inside the 20. Each member of the offense had a hand in this one, a recurring theme of these losses. It’s a troubling trend to be sure, as teams have figured out how to stop the Raiders, and the unit hasn’t adjusted accordingly.
2. Raiders can’t run: The Raiders have stuck with Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew this season, but those veterans have struggled to produce consistently. The pair ran 12 times for 27 yards, a dismal 2.25 yards per carry average.
That stilts the offensive flow and heaps pressure on a passing game led by rookie Derek Carr that doesn’t have enough surrounding talent to survive on its own. Latavius Murray gave Oakland a spark in the second half, but his use came far too late to make a desired impact.
“The first half was really frustrating,” Wisniewski said. We didn’t run the ball well, and we had far too many three-and-outs. We were in bad positions most of the time, and we couldn’t get going because we couldn’t run.”
3. Couldn’t flip the field: Chargers punter Mike Scifres deserves a game ball for pinning the Raiders deep in their own territory. He punted nine times and put the ball inside the 13-yard line five times.
The Raiders started drives inside the 10 on four occasions, but his best punt was his last. Scifres placed it at the 12-yard line, too far back for the Raiders to mount a last-minute comeback.
The Raiders could’ve flipped the field with a sustained drive and solid defense, but it never happened. With the Raiders offense going so bad, it seemed impossible they would drive the length of the field and score.